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Dictionary entries for "launch" say that these are okay:

  1. "launch a missile/boat"
  2. "launch a campaign"
  3. "launch a new product"

Would it be standard English to write:

to launch a new building


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It would be odd. To launch a boat, a campaign, a product, a project means basically to 'set it in motion', literally or figuratively; and buildings do not ordinarily move.

But it would be unremarkable to speak of 'launching' the construction of a building.

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argh, you edged me out by 11 seconds! – Hellion Aug 30 '14 at 2:12
So, this would be wrong? link "49ers Foundation to Launch STEM Leadership Institute" – meatie Aug 30 '14 at 2:18
@meatie An Institute is not a building but an organization or institution which acts, so it may be said to be "launched" when it starts operating. – StoneyB Aug 30 '14 at 2:20
@StoneyB "Institute" can arguably refer to both the organization and the building it resides in, but "launch the institute" would be understood to mean "launch the organization" so would be fine, as you say. – David Richerby Aug 30 '14 at 11:50
Actually, I think it would be slightly unnatural to "launch the construction of a building": it would be more normal to just "begin/start constructing the building". The ceremony at the start of construction is known as "laying the foundation stone". – David Richerby Aug 30 '14 at 11:52

"Launch" implies setting something in motion, so it's not the right word.

When discussing the completion of a building, open would be a fine word. Inaugurate would be even more appropriate, if there is an opening ceremony involved.

To mark the beginning of construction, a good term to use is breaking ground.

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No, buildings really don't get launched. Launching is about starting something in motion.

You could open a new building, though.

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So, this would be wrong? link "49ers Foundation to Launch STEM Leadership Institute" – meatie Aug 30 '14 at 2:19
@meatie, no that's fine (well, tolerable), because it's referring to an institution, not the building the institution is in. – Codeswitcher Aug 30 '14 at 3:46
So, this is poorly written? link--"When the Colorado Rapids MLS launched a new stadium in 2007 she followed them to work four seasons with the club up until transitioning to Seattle." – meatie Aug 31 '14 at 22:13

To launch means to put something into market or activity/action. You can launch a missile, a product and even a campaign.

I think you are looking for the term when the building is opened up for public. Because then it comes into action and people start visiting the building. One such word is inauguration. Once the building is inaugurated it is then available for use. However, I'm not sure whether you can inaugurate your own building!

We often see headlines of buildings being inaugurated by ministers or celebs.

In fact, inauguration is the word used to officially open a building with a special ceremony.

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Actually, buildings are often inaugurated shortly after they've begun to be used. Rather than inaugurating an empty building, you'd typically move everybody in first, and then have the opening ceremony. – David Richerby Aug 30 '14 at 11:54
@DavidRicherby Of course, to build shop and make them function, someone has to be there maintaining it! Obviously, the building is used that way but not by the customers for what it's actually built! :) – Maulik V Aug 30 '14 at 12:01

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